People are always telling me they love wine but wish they knew more about it. Well, it's time to stop wishing and start learning with these five easy steps.
1. DRINK WINE. LOTS OF IT.
The easiest way to learn (and the most fun way) is to drink lots of wine. Sure, you can read books and take classes but if you're not ready to make that sort of commitment yet, start simple and drink wine. Like all the time.
2. DON'T PRETEND YOU KNOW MORE THAN YOU DO.
I used to pretend I knew more about wine than I did. I'd walk into a wine store all confident then someone would ask me a simple question and I'd stumble over my words and sound like an idiot trying to pretend I knew what I was talking about. It just makes the whole experience more awkward and more stressful than it needs to be. If someone asks you a question about wine, just be honest about what you know or don't know. You may be surprised by where the conversation goes and what you may discover.
3. ASK QUESTIONS.
Ever since I was of legal drinking age, I’ve been surrounded by people who know more about wine than me. At first, I didn’t ask a single question to those people. I drank a ton of wine but I learned nothing. Then one day I said 'fuck it' and started asking all the 'dumb' wine questions. When I stopped being afraid of what other people thought of me, I learned so much. I'm still learning just by asking questions.
Who do you ask? Your wino friend, a wine shop employee, a waiter, me! These are all people you can learn from. P.S. You can ask me any 'dumb' wine question you want. I'll never judge you!
4. TRY SOMETHING NEW.
Don't default to what you know. It’s easy to latch on to the wines you know you like. Maybe you always get the same bottle from the same wine shop every time. I get it! it’s safe and you know your money will be well spent on something you love. BUT you will never learn this way. Maybe you know you love Sauvignon Blanc so you always order Sauvignon Blanc. Every. Single. Time. I mean great, you may be the wine-stein of Sauv Blanc but it ends there. Don’t get me wrong I love me a Sauv Blanc but omg you're missing out on so many other great wines and you won’t know it unless you venture out and try something new.
5. DON'T JUST SIP AND FORGET.
Maybe you're someone who isn't afraid to venture out, but you find at times you have no idea what wine you're drinking or you forget what wine you had right after you finished it. Here’s the thing. That used to be me. To a fkn tee. My memory is complete garbage. I used to forget a person's name as they’re telling me it, and it was the same with wine. But with a little practice, I was able to start remembering and so can you.
My advice is simple. It only takes a minute or two to find out more about the wine you're drinking. Start by focusing on these five things. Write the answers down if you can and snap a pic of the bottle. You’ll start to get a better understanding of the wines you drink and you'll be able to better remember what types of wine you like or don’t like by doing this. You may not be able to answer all five questions for each wine because there are a ton of nuances and that's okay. But know this, there is no right or wrong answer for #5!
- What's the grape? - This may be one type of grape like Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, etc. or it may be a blend of different grapes.
- Where's it from? - This is the country or specific region the wine is from.
- Who made it? - This is the winery or brand name.
- What's the vintage? - This is the year listed (year the grapes were picked).
- Do you like it? - This can be as simple as yes or no.